What is Redemption?


#1

What is Redemption (especially as taught in Redemptor Hominis)? How is it different from Salvation? How does the concept of universal Redemption comport with Dominus Iesus and the notion of salvation through the Church alone?

I know there are a lot of questions tied up in there. But I have been struggling with this for some time. The Catholic Encyclopedia was helpful, but loaded with scholarly phrases that I couldn’t understand. Thanks.


#2

Here’s what the Catechism says:

REDEEMER/REDEMPTION: Jesus Christ, redeemer of mankind. Christ paid the price of his own sacrificial death on the cross to ransom us, to set us free from the slavery of sin, thus achieving our redemption. (571, 601; cf. 517, 1372).
571 The Paschal mystery of Christ’s cross and Resurrection stands at the center of the Good News that the apostles, and the Church following them, are to proclaim to the world. God’s saving plan was accomplished “once for all” by the redemptive death of his Son Jesus Christ.
601 The Scriptures had foretold this divine plan of salvation through the putting to death of “the righteous one, my Servant” as a mystery of universal redemption, that is, as the ransom that would free men from the slavery of sin. Citing a confession of faith that he himself had “received”, St. Paul professes that “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures.” In particular Jesus’ redemptive death fulfills Isaiah’s prophecy of the suffering Servant. Indeed Jesus himself explained the meaning of his life and death in the light of God’s suffering Servant. After his Resurrection he gave this interpretation of the Scriptures to the disciples at Emmaus, and then to the apostles.
**517 ** Christ’s whole life is a mystery of redemption. Redemption comes to us above all through the blood of his cross, but this mystery is at work throughout Christ’s entire life:

  • already in his Incarnation through which by becoming poor he enriches us with his poverty;
  • in his hidden life which by his submission atones for our disobedience;
  • in his word which purifies its hearers;
  • in his healings and exorcisms by which “he took our infirmities and bore our diseases”;
  • and in his Resurrection by which he justifies us.

There is also a good article in This Rock magazine that addresses the very question you ask. It points out:

Through Christ God has provided the redemption necessary for salvation even to be offered, and that redemption is for all men without exception. Now all that needs to be done is to apply that redemption to each person, which is a way of describing salvation. It is repeated throughout Scripture that we are saved by grace through faith.

For the entire article, got to:
Salvation for Non-Christians Explained
catholic.com/thisrock/2003/0302fea3.asp


#3

Because of Original Sin, man’s initial friendship and communion with God was lost. Christ, the New Adam, through His sacrifice and death, restored that friendship and regained for us membership in God’s family. This is what is meant by redemption.

Salvation, rather, is the ultimate victory over sin, made possible by redemption. In other words, a person so-redeemed by Christ who follows Him to the end will receive salvation and eternal life.


#4

Because of Original Sin, man’s initial friendship and communion with God was lost. Christ, the New Adam, through His sacrifice and death, restored that friendship and regained for us membership in God’s family. This is what is meant by redemption. [font=Verdana]

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Believe me, I am not trying to be argumentative, but then what good is Baptism? If we are resored to membership apart from Baptism, then how is it that Original Sin is washed away by Baptism?

Does Redemption make salvation possible in that it makes Baptism and the other sacraments efficacious? Does Redemption permit humankind access God’s mercy through the sacraments and the Church? Is that what is meant by “the accomplishment of God’s saving plan”?


#5

Christ sacrifice is the cause; baptism (along with an operative, saving faith) is the normal means that God has given us.

Does Redemption make salvation possible in that it makes Baptism and the other sacraments efficacious? Does Redemption permit humankind access God’s mercy through the sacraments and the Church? Is that what is meant by “the accomplishment of God’s saving plan”?

Yes, yes, and yes. :slight_smile:


#6

Fantastic! That is rather clear. Thank you.


#7

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